By Amit Kumar
New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): With the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) parting ways with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar and three Left parties joining hands with the Rashtyriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), the upcoming Assembly elections in the state are being considered a litmus test for both the alliances.
The coming together of the Left parties with Bihar's Mahagathbandhan will change the poll equation in the upcoming Assembly elections, feels Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha who is a senior leader of the RJD.
"The CPI(ML), CPI and CPI(M) have dedicated cadres across the state and at more than 60 Assembly seats their votes are decisive," he says.
The Congress, another partner in the Grand Alliance, too feels that the alliance with the Left parties has brightened up their prospects.
The Left parties have a good presence in around 100 out of the 243 Bihar Assembly seats, says senior Congress leader Akhilesh Prasad Singh, also a Rajya Sabha MP from the state.
"While the Left parties have always fought against us, this time the Grand Alliance will definitely benefit from them joining hands with us," Singh asserts.
Hannan Mullah, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M), says that the Left parties have always stood by those who fight against the BJP-RSS.
"But during elections in Bihar, parties like the RJD and Congress refuse to give respectable numbers of seats to the Left parties. So, we fight against them, but this time the Grand Alliance has realised the strength of the Left parties and has given a respectable number of seats to us," Bihar CPI(M) in-charge Mullah says.
The Assembly elections in Bihar will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.
The BJP and the JD(U) of NDA have agreed to contest on 121 and 122 seats respectively. While the JD(U) has given seats to the Hindustani Awaam Morcha of Jitin Ram Manjhi from its quota of 122 seats, the BJP, on the other hand, has formally inducted the Vikassheel Insaan Party into the NDA and assigned it 11 seats.
The LJP has decided not to contest the Bihar Assembly elections under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the leader of the NDA. The party, however, will not contest the seats being contested by the BJP.
The process of filing nominations is on for the second phase of the Bihar Assembly elections. (ANI)